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Problem As Seen by Client:

“I need three maps for a soon to be published book. I have copies of outline maps drawn by a friend, but I may need to make a few changes. My publisher may have certain requirements. I know they have to be published in black and white.”

MetaGlyfix Analysis:

The author’s outline maps are neat and generally in good shape. They show the land areas and boundaries, the rivers and other bodies of water, the towns, roads, and special features that the author wants to illustrate, with their labels. Few substantive changes will have to be made.

However, the author’s maps are too large for a book page, so will have to be reduced. If reduced as they are, some text and other elements will be too small to be legible. Furthermore, the maps submitted are photocopies, which are not an Acceptable quality for imagesetter printing in the book.

In one map the featured area is shaded, but the photocopy renders it a dark mass that blots out the labels and other features. Otherwise, no one area is distinguished from another in color, pattern, or shading.

The maps lack some basic guideposts: no scale, no key, no compass indicator, no cartouche, no inset to show where the map area fits in a larger world area.

MetaGlyfix concludes that although it is possible merely to scan each existing map and touch up the scans, making the needed or desired adjustments could be more time-consuming and expensive than drawing each map anew, and the visual quality would be far inferior.

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MetaGlyfix Solution:

MetaGlyfix draws the maps anew at full size (larger than publication size). Calculations are made to ensure text and all features will be legible when scaled down.

MetaGlyfix researches and calculates the data necessary to produce the guideposts — a scale (in km and miles), a key, a world area inset, and a compass. Using this information, each of these components are drawn as separate technical illustrations, scaled, and inserted in each map.

The MetaGlyifx designer creates a “look” for the set of three maps that will display clearly what the author wants to illustrate while meeting essential design criteria:

  1. aesthetically coherent across the three maps
  2. compatible with the style, tone, and content of the book
  3. techically efficient to meet publisher’s and printer’s requirements

Key elements of the design are:

  1. subtle shades of very light gray for land areas, and the lightest gray possible for oceans and seas
  2. featured areas are offset in pure white (as opposed to the surrounding grays)
  3. coastlines delineated by a smooth, tri-shaded gray shadow
  4. legible, meaningful use of dashed, dotted, and varying-width lines to mark boundaries and routes that the author wants to feature

Printed laser proofs and web proofs are made along the way for the author and publisher, and the author decides to make some changes to information on the original maps. The changes are incorporated, more proofs are printed and posted until the clients are satisfied with all visible elements.

MetaGlyfix then makes the final technical adjustments for printing. A clean vector file of each map is produced. The files are scaled for placement in the text of the soon to be published book. All related files are prepped for printing according to the printer’s specifications and are transmitted to the printer for high-resolution output on an imagesetter.

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Click alternately on Before and After labels above each map

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Map 1 Before & After

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Map 2 Before & After

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Map 3 Before & After

Left: Map 2 as seen in spread of published book (displayed at 25% actual size).

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Last updated 24 April 2012 at 18:42:33 to top

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